December 4, 2009
Impact: Wolfe-Angle continues to build; Hamada-Sarita shine
By BLAINE VAN DER GRIEND - SLAM! Wrestling
As everyone continues to buzz over the impact (no pun intended) that Hulk Hogan will have on this company in the coming years, this week's episode contains more paranoia on the part of Mick Foley, who continues to snowball into an avalanche of insanity. Also, waters continue to rage between Kurt Angle and Desmond Wolfe and Samoa Joe is nowhere to be found.
There is no wasted time in TNA this week, as Desmond Wolfe kicks off the show to address the rivalry that has developed between himself and Kurt Angle (or is it Kurt Mangled now?). Wolfe is surrounded by the six sides of steel and borrows a line from Roddy Piper that just when Angle thinks he knows all the answers, Wolfe changes the question. Speaking of questions, Wolfe makes light of the fact that Angle beat him at Turning Point. He says the only way to beat someone in his book is to publicly humiliate them beyond recognition. Wolfe adds that he's done that since he stepped foot in the door of TNA and it continued last week when he hawked up what he called "tasty British phlegm" (how flattering) and spat it in Angle's direction. He says if that wasn't bad enough, he also took advantage of Angle's ego and cost him a shot at his beloved TNA World Championship. Wolfe says now is the time to end Angle for good, because the structure that currently contains him will be the platform at Final Resolution, as Wolfe has devised the ingenious idea called "3 degrees of pain" (catchy). He says it will essentially be a 2 out of 3 falls match, but unlike most 2 out of 3 falls matches, the first fall will be pinfalls only, the second fall will be submissions only and in case a third fall is necessary, you can only win by escaping the cage. Wolfe says he won't need a third fall, because he plans to embarrass Angle by pinning him with the Tower of London and then force him to tap out to the London Dungeon. Wolfe adds that despite all of this, he still plans to escape the cage just for the hell of it, all for the purpose of embarrassing Angle three times in one night. Wolfe then calls out Angle so he can further explain, and Angle (who just happened to be at the entrance) answers the call instantly. Angle does not look too impressed and says the one thing he's come to expect since the time Wolfe has arrived in TNA is that whenever the two of them are in the same building at the same time, that they always need to be prepared for a fight. Angle then suggests that he save them both some time and starts making his way to the ring. Wolfe is looking for an escape route, but realizes that he's locked himself in. On the plus side, it temporarily prevents Angle from getting in, until Kurt realizes that he can also climb over the top. Before Wolfe realizes that he can also climb out, Angle is already in and meets Wolfe head on with a couple of shots. Wolfe then reveals the trick up his sleeve in the form of brass knuckles, which he uses to deck Angle and then bounces Kurt's head off the cage a couple times, before reminding Kurt to heed his own advice and always be prepared. Very effective segment!
Mick Foley is in his office with JB and is still going crazy about the Hogan situation, while JB tries to calm him down. An irate Kurt Angle then storms into Foley's office and demands a one-on-one match with Desmond Wolfe tonight, saying he doesn't want to wait for Final Resolution. Foley says he's unaware if he still has the authority to make that happen. Angle is confused and hasn't got a clue what Foley's talking about. Foley tells Angle he's got his match, provided that he can shed some light on the relationship between Dixie Carter and Hulk Hogan and fill Foley in. Angle tells Foley to stop being paranoid and accuses him of being jealous of Hogan. He tells him to get over it and then walks off, while Foley yells at the thought of him being jealous of Hogan.
Match #1: Alex Shelley vs. Doug Williams
All outside parties are immediately banned from ringside by referee Slick Johnson. This leads to Brutus Magnus taking a cheapshot at Chris Sabin on the outside, which distracts Shelley, allowing Williams to blindside him as well. Shelley retaliates with a springboard enzugiri, followed by a tope on the outside and a high crossbody for two. Williams applies an inverted Gory special and positions Shelley in almost a reverse tree of woe, as he delivers a running dropkick from that position. Williams then applies a bow and arrow and then delivers a backbreaker, keeping Shelley arched across his knee. Shelley fights out and tries Sliced Bread #2, but Williams counters and delivers a belly-to-back suplex, followed by a European uppercut off the top rope. He tries rolling out of the corner with a German suplex, but Shelley counters and delivers a superkick, followed by Sliced Bread #2 (which is the greatest thing since Sliced Bread #1) for the win.
Winner: Alex Shelley by pinfall
There is a backstage confrontation between Pope D'Angelo Dinero and Suicide. Pope says he doesn't want Suicide to get the wrong idea and he comes in peace. He says he has somewhat of a gift for the man of mystery, as TNA management has signed a huge 8-man elimination match at Final Resolution, featuring Team 3D, Rhino and Jesse Neal against Matt Morgan, Hernandez, The Pope and their choice for a fourth man (what is this, a poker game?). He says considering the battles him and Suicide have had in the past, he wants that partner to be Suicide. Suicide says while Morgan and Hernandez may have bought what The Pope is preaching, Suicide's trust comes at a much higher price. Pope says he hopes Suicide reconsiders, because they've had some tremendous battles together, including their last one, when Suicide leapt off the stage and put Pope through a table. Pope then presents Suicide with a souvenir, which is a revealed to be a piece of table (presumably the same one that Suicide put him through) with Pope's autograph on it (why would he have kept that?).
Back in Mick Foley's office, the craziness continues as Foley has apparently summoned TNA's newest acquisition D'Lo Brown (someone's gained a few pounds) and questions the relationship between him and Hogan (I guess D-Lo was on the Australian tour). D-Lo says Hogan's treated him with the utmost respect and can only help TNA. As D-Lo leaves, Foley sarcastically remarks to himself if D-Lo expects Hogan to get him another run with the European title and then mocks D-Lo's head movements, saying "who walks like that anyway?" (This segment was actually pretty funny).
Match #2: Homicide vs. Suicide
This is the match that I've been looking forward to (now where's genocide?). The two combatants exchange headlocks in the early going, but Homicide breaks the chain with a short-arm clothesline for two. He then applies a nerve hold and a variation of the Juvi driver, shades of his Latino brethren Juventud Guerrera. But Homicide makes the mistake of pulling Suicide up during the pin. Homicide tries taking the mask off, but Suicide fights him off with an up-kick. He then leaps over Homicide in the corner and delivers what Edge calls the Edge-o-matic. Homicide fights back with the Gringo cutter, but Suicide responds with a dropkick for two. Suicide then attempts the Suicide solution, which Homicide counters and goes for the Gringo killer, which Suicide counters into a backslide for the win.
Winner: Suicide by pinfall
After the match, Homicide Pearl Harbors Suicide and goes for the mask yet again, until Pope Dinero comes out to make the save. Pope then extends his hand to Suicide, but Suicide rejects the offer and walks away.
Daniels is shown backstage with the Beautiful People. He says he has some sort of proposition for them and they accept the proposal (I wonder how many times each of them has been proposed to?).
It's now time for "Trash Talk" with ODB (where was I when they changed the name of this segment?). ODB's guest this week is also her opponent at Final Resolution, Tara. Tara says she's thrilled to be here and offers a handshake to ODB, who not only rejects it but implies that Tara's goody two shoes attitude is all an act and says this is a show where people need to be real. ODB says everyone knows Tara came from the WWE and she's a diva and now all of a sudden, she wants to walk into TNA, a company that everyone took seven years to build (ODB was only there for two of them) and now she wants to steal everyone's spotlight. Tara then cuts a very emotional promo (kudos to the acting skills here), saying that she's not trying to steal anything from anybody. She says she's worked very hard to get to where she is and was embarrassed by the last few years of her career in the WWE, when she was forced to train Barbie dolls. ODB seemingly feels sympathetic and apologizes to Tara, but then slaps the taste out of her mouth and keeps yelling that Tara's a phony. Eventually two biker dudes had to pry ODB off of Tara.
Match #3: Jesse Neal vs. Pope D'Angelo Dinero
Pope delivers a hammerlock into a clothesline in the early going. Neal fights back and delivers a dominator, into a shoulderbreaker for two. Pope retaliates with an uppercut, followed by the D'Angelo Dinero experience (I've finally established what DDE stands for) for the win.
Winner: Pope D'Angelo Dinero by pinfall
After the match, Neal attacks Pope from behind, only to have Suicide make the save. Suicide then offers his hand to Dinero and Dinero accepts the handshake (I guess Suicide's price isn't that high after all). Team 3D and Rhino then run out and corner Pope and Suicide, who position themselves back to back, in case they need to fight them off. But luckily, Matt Morgan and Hernandez make the save and all eight guys have a staredown to end the segment.
Match #4: Beer Money Inc. vs. Kevin Nash and Eric Young
Beer Money utilize some double-teaming in the early going as Roode plants Young with a slam, followed by an elbowdrop from Storm and a kneedrop from Roode for two. Roode then delivers a spinebuster for two. Nash tags in and starts taunting Storm on the outside, so Storm makes his way in and utilizes a double-leg takedown on Nash, which was pretty impressive (not so much that Storm took him down, but that Nash was able to take the move). Young then delivers a high knee, sending Roode to the outside. Nash tags back in and delivers some knees to the midsection of Roode, followed by snake eyes. Storm gets a hot tag and delivers a back body drop on Young, followed by a flying forearm to Nash. He then delivers the backstabber to Young, but Nash breaks it up, only to be the recipient of the blockbuster from Roode. Storm delivers the eye of the Storm on Young for two. Nash then posts Roode on the outside and as Storm tunes up the band for the superkick, Nash grabs hold of his foot, allowing Young to deliver a lowblow, followed by a piledriver for the win.
Winners: Eric Young and Kevin Nash by pinfall
Mick Foley comes out after the match and orders for the music to be cut. He once again questions Nash about the Hogan situation (didn't they just have this conversation last week?). Foley demands to know who's coming in with Hogan and why he's coming to TNA and warns Nash that he could threaten his job if he refuses to tell him. Nash tells Foley that he shouldn't be worrying about it and says that what Foley should be concerned about is getting himself a decent haircut and a suit, because it might come in handy when he's looking for a new job. He then tells Foley to call Hogan himself if he's so worried about it and implies that he's spoken to a couple of his old bandmates and the band might be getting back together (I was afraid of that).
Bobby Lashley comes out for the next segment with his wife Krystal. It's announced that before Lashley's title shot, he'll have a one-on-one return match against Scott Steiner at Final Resolution (how does that make Lashley #1 contender again? And just think about the new contender that will be added once the feast or fired match happens). Lashley says he has nothing to say to Steiner and he'll do all of his talking with his fists at Final Resolution. Krystal says she's going to do the talking tonight (I guess we know who wears the pants in the Lashley household). Krystal says it was never her intention to get involved in the action, but Steiner got her involved. She says the only reason she was at ringside was to support her husband and she has never been disrespected by any of Lashley's MMA opponents, like she was disrespected by Scott Steiner. Krystal warns Steiner that Lashley's bite is much worse than her bark (let's hope so) and at Final Resolution, Lashley's going to eat Steiner for lunch (that's a pretty late lunch).
Lauren is backstage with Daniels, asking about his upcoming match with Abyss. Daniels says he can feel the changes happening in TNA as they speak. He says he's finally getting what he wants, and that's a one-on-one title match with AJ Styles at Final Resolution to prove what he's always known and that is that he has always been better than AJ. He says he's going to be giving AJ a preview of what Final Resolution's going to be like tonight. Lauren then asks Daniels why he isn't more concerned about Abyss and Daniels responds that he isn't quite as concerned as Lauren is about the well-being of her current love interest. Lauren says it's not like that at all and Daniels says the two of them deserve each other.
Match #5: Daniels vs. Abyss
AJ is positioned at ringside as a spectator. Daniels is getting cocky in the early going as he shoots in for an arm ringer, but instead pats Abyss on the head and proceeds to mock him. Daniels applies a side headlock, which Abyss counters, looking like he's going for a belly-to-back suplex, but instead, just drops Daniels on his spine. Daniels responds with a slap (not the smartest move) and the chase is on around ringside as they play cat and mouse. Abyss eventually catches Daniels with a big boot, followed by a press slam. He goes for the shock treatment, but Daniels avoids it. Abyss then goes for a chokeslam, but Daniels gives some kind of hand signal and footage is aired of TBP attacking Lauren in the backstage area, which distracts Abyss, allowing Daniels to deliver a low blow, followed by a side roll into a pinning combination for the win.
Winner: Daniels by pinfall
After the match, Daniels invites AJ into the ring and AJ is quick to accept the invitation, only to be attacked from behind by the mystery assailant, who once again leaves the champ laying.
Up next is Mike Tenay's "exclusive" interview with Dixie Carter. She comments that the choice is up to Sting what his future is going to be. She says the door is always open, but it's ultimately his decision as to whether he wants to stay or not. She then speaks of Jeff Jarrett, saying that he was affected by a personal situation that put the company in a difficult position and because of that, he's been given leave, but is always welcome back. She says the plan with Hogan is not to recreate history, but to make history (how could that be?).
Desmond Wolfe enters Mick Foley's office and says he's a huge fan and thanks Foley for the opportunity to get his foot in the door. Foley says he took the initiative to sign Wolfe, just like Wolfe took the initiative to attack Angle. Wolfe questions if it's as simple as Angle did for someone to just come in to Foley's office and make a suggestion and Foley just makes it happen just like that. Foley puts Wolfe at ease, saying that Kurt's requested match for tonight isn't going to happen, but he does have his own plans for Kurt. Wolfe says he knew Foley had the stroke around here. As Wolfe leaves, the word "stroke" lit a light bulb over Foley's head and he tries calling Jeff Jarrett. He asks Jarrett to come to Impact next week to put the kibosh on the whole Hogan deal and Jarrett says he couldn't care less about Hogan, Foley or TNA.
Match #6: Hamada vs. Sarita
This clash of cultures starts with a judo throw by Hamada, followed by a series of armdrag variations between the two of them. Sarita positions herself on Hamada's shoulders and spins around with a hurricanrana, shades of Rey Mysterio. Hamada fights back with a crescent kick, followed by a missile dropkick for two. She goes for the Hamada driver, which Sarita counters with a victory roll for two. Sarita then delivers a float-over DDT for two and then applies an inverted ankle lock with Hamada's other leg grapevined. Hamada fights out and delivers a couple of spin kicks and then a Hamada driver for the win. Excellent match!
Winner: Hamada by pinfall
A furious AJ Styles cuts a very intense promo backstage, saying that this mystery attacker not only has put AJ's friendship with Daniels on the rocks, but continues to embarrass him week after week with these random attacks and he's sick of it. He says when he finds out who it is, that person's going to regret everything he's done to him, because the next time he puts his hands on him will be the last time he ever does anything.
Kurt Angle comes out prepared for battle, when Mick Foley cuts him off. Foley says he's had a tough week and something that Angle said stuck with him and that was when Angle said he was jealous of Hogan. Foley says he told Angle that he'd get his match as long as he helped shed light on the situation with Dixie and Hogan and Kurt didn't. He says because of that, Foley's taken it upon himself to tweak this match and instead of Angle vs. Wolfe, it'll be Angle in a handicap match against Raven and Dr. Stevie, because as bad as they burned Foley weeks ago, Angle burned him even worse tonight. Foley says no matter what happens in the match and whether Angle destroys them or they destroy Kurt, it's win-win for Foley.
Match #7: Kurt Angle vs. Raven and Dr. Stevie
Angle tries to fight off the heels in the early going, but it's too much for him to handle. Raven delivers a kneelift, sending Angle to the floor, where they deliver a double side-Russian legsweep into the guardrail for two. Angle comes back with a double clothesline and then a pair of German suplexes. Stevie tries to retreat up the ramp, but Abyss meets him with a blackhole slam (I guess he isn't as concerned about Lauren as I thought). The distraction allows Angle to scoop Raven's legs out from under him and quickly make him tap to the ankle lock.
Winner: Kurt Angle by submission
After the match, Desmond Wolfe
shows up out of nowhere and spins Angle around for a hammerlock DDT
to close the show.
This was a much better show than I anticipated. I thought they did a decent job of building to the pay per view; particularly with Wolfe and Angle. The one match with Sarita and Hamada was probably the best women's match of the year by a comfortable mile (kilometre in Canada). I also really enjoyed the opening segment with Angle and Wolfe and Wolfe's mic work is tremendous. I did think a few things were missing though. I missed hearing another of Scott Steiner's great promos. Also, where is Samoa Joe? I actually didn't mind the ODB and Tara segment either, because at least we have a clearer picture as far as finding a definitive face and heel. Overall though, a decent show. 7 out of 10.